Bibury: Spend a Few Hours in one of the Cotswolds’ Prettiest Villages

The Cotswold Village of Bibury:

Whilst staying on one of our Cotswold Holiday Cottages in Broadway, one of the Cotswold villages we recommend visiting is the pretty picture-postcard village of Bibury.

Bibury, once described by William Morris as the ‘most beautiful village in England’ is about a 5o minutes’s drive from our holiday cottages in West End. During the drive across some of the most beautiful Cotswolds countryside, the landscape changes from rolling hills and ridge and furrow fields inhabited by sheep, to expansive fields of arable crops but the dry-stone walls boundaries of the honey-coloured Cotswold stone are still a wonderful feature.

On arriving in Bibury you will find free on-street parking along the banks of the River Coln, a tributary of the River Thames, that meanders through the village. From there you can wander across the rustic bridge over the river with its clear waters, swans,  Brown Trout and dragonflies, to Arlington Row.

Arlington Row:

Owned by the National Trust, is a row of idyllic Cotswold stone cottages. The cottages were once a 14th century monastic wool store later converted in the 17th century to weavers’ cottages. Arlington Row is one of England’s most iconic and photographed places – it even appears on the inside cover of UK passports! From there wander up Awkward Hill (a short climb) and down along Hawkers Hill back round to the main street. Alternatively take the footpath across Rack Isle, a boggy water meadow also owned by the National Trust. Rack Isle is an important habitat for a wide variety of wildlife and in late summer a small herd of Belted Galloway cattle (one of our favourites) graze the land.

Places to Visit and to Eat in Bibury:

In the centre of the village you will find Bibury Trout Farm, Arlington Mill (now a private dwelling), the Church of St Mary, tea rooms, restaurants and pubs serving food (our favourite is the 15th century Catherine Wheel Pub). The gardens at Awkward Hill Cottage are open by arrangement under the National Garden Scheme between July and September. The owner of the cottage, Victoria Summerley, is an award winning garden journalist and author of ‘Secret Gardens of the Cotswolds’ and ‘Great Gardens of London’.

We hope you enjoy your visit!

Broadway Manor Cottages

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Queen Victoria’s Coronation Bonfire at Broadway Tower 22nd June 1887

Broadway Celebrated Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 with a Beacon Bonfire at Broadway Tower

131 years ago today, on 20th June 1837, whilst Queen Victoria was celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of her accession to the throne in London with a banquet to which 50 European Kings and Princes were invited, 2,548 beacon bonfires were lit across England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the Channel Islands. Colonel Milward, one of Worcestershire’s MPs, used the top of the Malvern Hills as the starting point for the first organised chain of bonfires to be lit to the north, south, west and east.

Broadway joined in the Jubilee celebrations: after dusk a procession of villagers carrying torches and chinese lanterns made its way up what is now The Cotswold Way from the centre of the village to the Tower on top of ‘Beacon Hill’, where a large bonfire was lit. That evening from the vantage point of Broadway Tower, 142 beacon fires could be seen across the surrounding countryside.

Broadway Tower has not hosted any beacon bonfires in recent years but is still a great Cotswolds attraction to visit and well worth the climb up the hill from our Cotswold holiday cottages in West End. The walk takes about 40 minutes and is a steady but not too arduous ascent. It is also possible to take the car up to the Tower as there is there is plenty of parking on site. The views from the top of the Tower are spectacular and on a clear day it is possible to see 16 counties of England and Wales. Within the grounds of the Tower is a herd of red deer and the nearby cafe Morris & Brown is open for refreshments almost every day of the year!

Lancaster Bomber Flypast, Broadway Tower
Broadway Tower – Lancaster Bomber Flypast
Morris and Brown Cafe at Broadway Tower
Morris & Brown Cafe at Broadway Tower

 

 

 

 

 

Cotswolds AONB Hare Trail 2018

Cotswolds AONB Hare Trail
22nd May to 9th September 2018

Cotswold Hare Lygon Arms Broadway
‘Charles the First Hare to the Throne’ by Neil Helyard outside The Lygon Arms Hotel, Broadway, in 2017

Following a successful 2017 Cotswold Hare Trail which extended across the Cotswolds from Bristol to Broadway and Cheltenham to Woodstock with 80 large 5ft hares and 22 leverets on display, the 2018 Cotswolds AONB Hare Trail returns to the Cotswolds from 22nd May to 9th September.

The Trail, a premier public art trail across the Cotswolds, was set up in 2013 with the first Cirencester March Hare Festival taking place in 2014 celebrating Cirencester’s links with the famous Roman Hare Mosaic in the Corundum Museum.

Cotswold Hare Trail Broadway 2017
‘Mr Hedge-Springer’ by Sam Wilson on display in Cotswold Trading, High Street, Broadway, in 2017

The 2018  Trail is partnered with the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the Trail will branch out as far as Stratford-Upon-Avon to the Forest of Dean. The extended Trail will give many more the opportunity to marvel at the hares along a variety of routes designed for those travelling on foot, by car, on public transport or by bicycle.

Various artists are involved in decorating the hares, artists Neil Helyard and Sam Wilson painted two of the hares on display last year in Broadway and this year local Broadway artist, Doug Eyre, will be painting ‘Harvest Hare’ and one of the leverets (further details to follow).

The Trail is an exciting way to visit different parts of the Cotswolds and fun for the family. At the end of the September the hares will be sold by auction with the money raised going to support the Cotswolds Visitor Giving Scheme and Glorious Cotswold Grasslands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s On in The Cotswolds 2018

What’s On in The Cotswolds 2018

Trains Returning to Broadway: Easter Weekend 30th March to 2nd April 2018

Broadway Station, Worcestershire
Artist’s Impression of the new Broadway Station, Worcestershire, by the late Fred Lea

Easter weekend 2018, after 58 years, trains will be returning to Broadway. At the start of the weekend, the newly rebuilt station in Broadway will be officially opened and trains will run to and from the station at Cheltenham Racecourse to Broadway village along 14 miles of completed track.

Over Easter (30th March to 2nd April 2018), GWSR will be running an intensive timetable with hourly departures from Broadway and Cheltenham. Tickets are available to book now at www.gwsr.com  or on the day at either station but it is expected that the trains will be very busy and that tickets will be very limited on the day so it is advisable to book in advance.

Parking at Broadway Station will be limited, however, the station is only about a 20 minutes’ walk from our Cotswold holiday cottages. If you are interested in staying on one of our Cotswold holiday cottages in Broadway whilst planning a trip on the newly opened GWSR line and station please visit our website for our current rates and availability in our cottages.

 

Broadway Station Opening March 2018

Broadway Station Cotswolds
Broadway Station

Although several months away, we are excited to hear that Broadway Station will be opening on Good Friday 30th March 2018. Just over 12 months away and the golden age of steam is set to return to Broadway.

Broadway’s station was demolished by British Rail in 1963 and volunteers from Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) are painstakingly rebuilding and restoring the station to its former glory. At the time of writing, the station’s two platforms and signal box are nearly completed and work is well underway on the station buildings. Laying of the track is continuing to join Broadway with the existing railway which currently runs from Cheltenham Racecourse through Winchcombe and Toddington to Laverton some 2 miles short of Broadway.

The railway is also re-instating the Hayles Abbey Halt, at Hailes, to serve the nearby ruined Hailes Abbey. The halt will be a request-only stop for pedestrians and cyclists and will hopefully be completed later this year.

The GWR is all volunteer run and has a dedicated team working two days a week (Wednesdays and Saturdays) at the site on Station Road, Broadway, a 20 minute walk from our Cotswold holiday cottages in West End. The project remains dependent on sponsors and donors and all donations are gratefully received. More information about the railway and rebuilding of Broadway Station can be found at http://broadwaystationgroup.blogspot.co.uk/.

On 24th April, Alan Bielby, GWSR will be giving a talk on the rebuilding of the railway and Broadway Station at Broadway Methodist Church Hall starting at 7pm. For further information about the talk, organised by Broadway History Society, visit www.broadwayhistorysociety.wordpress.com.